I have never been the biggest supporter of Loake, not because they can’t make a good shoe, but mainly because of their prevalent use of bookbinder leather on their lower end lines as well as a general lack of anything but classic models. There was never anything that jumped out at me and made me think, ‘wow’. Their 1880 line I always found was a good value for money and a great entry point for anyone that wanted a welted shoe with decent make at a great pricepoint that could not yet afford to jump into C&J and the like. But now it would appear that Loake is taking it one step further and adding another higher end line called the 1880 Export Grade which seams to be competing against the likes of C&J benchgrade, Cheaney and the like.
I have yet to see one in person and while they are still sticking to very classic models that don’t excite me at all, I am sure that this will be a good thing for the brand and for the people as they now have yet another option in the �300 pound range.